My very talented sister-in-law, Sarah, generously donated her time and materials to help us turn this new fundraising idea into a reality.
Awesome, huh? She came up with that cute little poem at 3am while up with her youngest. I definitely don't think that clearly in the middle of the night. LOL
We would be happy to give a decorated jar to anyone who would like to toss in their change at the end of the day. If you live out of state, I can mail you a label to put on any jar you have around the house. After all, it's amazing how quickly a little change can add up. :)
Sarah also designed these beautiful labels for our body & hair butter. I love how they turned out!
In other fun news, our body butter is now being sold through an online store that features hair and skin care products for curly-haired cuties. Rachel started Curly is Cuter while fundraising for her own family's adoption. It became so successful that she kept it up even after their little one came home!
When Rachel learned about our fundraiser, she offered to include our products on her website, just to help us out. She sells a lot of great stuff, and her prices and shipping are both very reasonable. Please head over and check out Curly is Cuter -- you won't be disappointed! (For those of you with non-curly cuties, she has barrettes and headbands that you'll love, too. :)
We are not the only ones with a confused pet. Grandma has one, too! Bobbly Blue likes to go walking in the afternoons with Grandma and her dog, Molly.
Apparently Bobby Blue developed this strange behavior after he was locked in Uncle Jesse's barn for three days. (Grandma finally heard him meowing.)
Grandma said, "When I walk down our road to the end of the avocados, he goes with us. But if I go up the road, all the way to Stan and Boecky's gate, he waits for us near the top of the driveway and pops out of the bushes when we come by."
Our biggest rabbit, now about 10 months old, remains nameless.
Now we have added two baby ones, in hopes of minimizing his confusion about his budding rabbit identity. They are currently called, Cutie, Baby, Sweetie, Honey, or any other term of endearment that pops into our minds at the moment it's needed.
Knowing about the big wide internet world out there, and apparently thinking that there are folks out there who enjoy weighing in on our little world here at home, the kids thought you (yes you!) might like to help us.
So here's the deal. Suggest your favorite rabbit names. Leave them in the comments section. (You can click on Name/URL or 'Anonymous' if you don't have a google or other account.)
To sweeten the deal, we'll send you a treat in the mail if we choose a name you suggest.
Destany is suggesting we send you three packages of 'dairy-o cookies'. (Oreos)
Hmmmmm..... We'll get back to you on the giveaway. This just might be fun! :)
(Pictures not included. This is a family blog, after all. ;)
Unfortunately, while (ehem) hopping up on their backs, he has badly injured two of them, to the degree where they needed some serious TLC to recuperate. Inside. I was thrilled. (I mean, who wouldn't want a full grown chicken in the house? That's all just part of the fun, right?)
So now they are in a chicken run, and he is not allowed to socialize with them.
He is sad. And a bit lonely. It's quite upsetting when we feed the chickens but do not share the food with him. He stands up against the coop and longs for his favorite food and company.
After reading my recent post about Truly Pure & Natural, a few of my lovely readers have expressed an interest in ordering their products. I thought it might help if I share a few of my favorite products (so far).
One of our favorite products is Tate's The Natural Miracle Shampoo. Created with organic, all-natural ingredients (no chemicals, preservatives, fillers, etc.), and PH balanced, it is meant to be a multi-use product. It not only smells great, but it also lathers wonderfully! Andy and I both love it as a body wash and face wash. I have struggled with acne pretty much my whole life, and since purchasing this about 6 months ago, it has not been an issue! Apparently it is the perfect product for my skin. :)
Although there is a regular conditioner to pair with the above shampoo, I ended up prefering this conditioning shampoo, which is also nice because I can skip a step and avoid shampooing and conditioning separately. I had to get used to the fact that it doesn't lather well, probably because of the conditioner in it, but it cleans my hair great, and leaves it manageable and easy to comb. I also use it as face wash sometimes. It's not my favorite as a body wash simply because it doesn't lather much, but it still gets the job done.
Although a little pricey, we are completely hooked on Tate's The Natural Miracle toothpaste. It is the best tasting natural toothpaste I have ever used, and I assure you, I have tried quite a few. You will not be disappointed with this pick. A little goes a long way.
Truly Pure & Natural also carries hand-made and cut bars of soap. I tried out the Lemongrass scent, and it is wonderful! Our whole bathroom smells great, and our hands are lightly scented, too. (Andy is reading over my shoulder, and he says he loves this soap!)
The 'Soap for Teeth' is the one product I have not been happy with at all. I read some good reviews somewhere, and thought it might be a money saver if we like it. I'll suffice it to say that I'm not a fan of soap in my mouth, and this is soap...for my mouth. Not a sensation or taste I prefer. ;) If you'd like to give it a try, I'm happy to pass it along to you. Maybe you'll like it better than me. I hate for it to go to waste.
And of course I recommend the Lifefactory glass water bottles. Read more about our favorite water bottles here. And don't forget to spread the word about our raffle fundraiser and get a free raffle ticket here. Last day is Thursday, 2/17!
Just a quick reminder.... If you buy from Truly Pure & Natural, you not only support a lovely adoptive family, but you also support our adoption fund! Nick & Denise have pledged 15% of all sales through my blog post links or the button on our side bar to our adoption fund. :)
Keandre- "Mommy -- I'm texting your mom. She got real sick. She had too much salt. The doctor said, 'No more having salt!'"
"Daddy! Mommy doesn't cut it like that!" A: "Really? How does she cut it?" "She cuts it normal!"
"Daddy, Destany isn't sharing her love with me. She won't let me go in her room!"
Destany- "Mommy, I feel really sick....like my head's going to fall off and my brain isn't working right. Ask me what's 2 + 2?" Mom: "I'm sorry you don't feel well. What's 2 + 2?" "Mmmmmm....I'm not sure. But I think it's close to four."
"When I'm married, I'm going to have 10 kids. My husband won't have a job, so he'll be around to help me a lot. I'll give him Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday off, so he can have a rest."
"Bleh! Wine is gross. I don't want to drink any more until I'm thirteen!" (Andy: "Phew! Glad we don't have to worry about that for seven more years.")
Lucas- L: "Mom, the oranges you told me to put in the compost were hard on the outside, but perfect on the inside. Kiara: "Oh, bummer. Next time, let me know and we can juice them, okay?" L: "Okay. But you're pretty smart, so I thought you'd know that."
"Sorry, what did you say, Mom? I couldn't hear you....I was thinking."
You may have noticed in this post that there was one 16 oz. water bottle with the tags still on. (Purchased through Truly Pure & Natural; $20 value.) Although we would gladly put it to use, I had another fun idea. A raffle to benefit our adoption fund!
There are two easy ways to participate:
~One entry for spreading the word about this raffle -- FB, Twitter, or your blog. Please leave a comment telling me where you shared.
~One entry for every $5 you donate to our adoption fund through our Paypal link. (Please let me know it's for the Lifefactory water bottle raffle.)
That's it! Easy-peasy.
I will compile the total number of entries and one of the kiddos will draw a name on Friday morning, February 18. I'll announce the winner here on our blog. If you don't live near us, I will ship it as soon as I have your address.
A while back, Andy and I discovered Truly Pure & Natural, an online store devoted to healthy, non-toxic living. Nick and Denise started their store after searching out safer everyday products for their four children, who have a variety of special needs.
The first item I purchased was a Lifefactory glass water bottle. As you can see, it only took one, and we were hooked! :)
The kiddos each have their own 9-oz water bottle, which they use for water or juice, often on-the-go. I sometimes use one of the 9-oz bottles for an iced mocha when we're running out the door. And I definitely use my 16-oz water bottle daily! The 22-oz bottle is used less often, but I sometimes bring it along to refill the kids' bottles.
We store several water bottles in a reusable lunch bag hanging by the front door, so we can grab them on the way out the door. Others sit on the kitchen counter, replacing the IKEA plastic cups we used to use constantly.
As described by Lifefactory: our BPA-free reusable beverage bottles are clear soda lime glass wrapped in a modern silicone sleeve -- an intelligently designed, clean tasting, chemical-free container for all your favorite beverages. (I would agree, by the way.)
Lifefactory also makes baby bottles, safe teethers, and other accessories. Soon they will have sport tops for their water bottles. If there is enough demand, Nick & Denise would be happy to sell these items through their store as well. Let them know if you'd like some! The Big News: I told Denise a while back that I love the water bottles and will be blogging about them. Of course they were thrilled, but then she came back with some exciting news. As an adoptive family themselves, they love supporting other adoptive families. They have decided to donate 15% of TPN sales through our blog to our adoption fund! (Happy dance! :) If you decide to purchase a Lifefactory water bottle, or anything else through TPN, please use the link from this blog entry or the button in the side bar. I'd love to know if you order, and what you think of them. And thank you! :)
This game has been a favorite around here for a long time. The artwork is eye-catching and full of beautiful detail. I love that the pictures spark conversations about children from other cultures and countries. Last time we played, we kept a globe nearby. :)
Although it is geared for ages 5 and up, we have successfully played it with Keandre, age three. We use fewer cards, or make a point of being pretty laid back about it all. We laugh a lot, too -- easy to do when your kiddo is making up the rules as you go along, and has no idea how comical his thoughts are!
If you decide to go purchase this game, pleasepleaseplease consider using this link. It takes you to the same ol' Amazon.com, but sweet little Madi gets some of the proceeds from the sale. Her parents use the money to buy her much-needed items that have helped her stand, learn to walk, and more.
(If you want to pass along the link to others, here it is:
Now that we have officially blown past our first fundraising goal, it is time to set our sights higher!
We are already home study certified and approved, according to the State of Arizona (oh, high authority that it is) as an adoptive family, so the fees associated with our home study, finger printing, background and medical checks, etc. have been paid already.
The first $1,000 we needed to raise is the fee that our local agency charges to be presented as a waiting family. This fee helps cover the cost of pregnancy counseling that is received long before adoption is decided on.
Now we need to raise approximately $6,000 more in adoption expenses, for a total of $7,000.
While we don't want this blog to be all about fundraising, we are looking forward to filling you in on a new fundraiser we will start next week. Watch for more information in the next few days! :)
Yep, you read that right! One beautiful rooster, needing a new home.
We bought Cricket when we picked out our little ladies (who, incidentally, will be laying for us in the near future). He was in the 'assorted roosters' box, and was so cheap cute that Lucas talked us into it. From the beginning, we agreed that when he found his voice, it would be time for him to move on.
Now the time has come, and we're a little sad to see him go. Lucas hopes he will end up somewhere in Phoenix so he can visit him! (You can read Lucas' blog post about Cricket here.)
Update 2/12 -- Thanks to Craigslist, Cricket has found a new home! We think he will be very happy with his new digs. He is free ranging, and has two pretty hens waiting for him when he returns from exploring his HUGE yard. He has it pretty good. Happy crowing!
In just six weeks, our first fundraising goal has been met!
And I have been humbled.
It has been one of those days. Today, I've wondered if God will ever provide full time work for Andy again. I've wondered if we will always have to count pennies to make ends meet. And, even if only for a few hours, I lost sight of my commitment to trust Him even when life doesn't make sense.
It was with tears in my eyes that I read two emails tonight. One from a friend who is so excited about our whipped body butter that she immediately bought $100 worth and said that she WILL be restocking regularly. Another email came from someone we have never met. He ran across our blog, read our story, and felt led to donate $200 toward our adoption fund. We were speechless.
We serve a God who loves us when we are overflowing with trust and gratefulness, and when we are weak, and our circumstances cause us to lose sight of His continued provision and faithfulness.
As I consider all of this, I am reminded yet again that this journey is not about us.
It is not about whether or not we have it all together and can seamlessly add another little one to our family. (Not likely!) Oh, we may be excited, but we are not naive. We know there will be challenges. We know there will be days when we feel weak, and need some encouragement that we are on the right track. But that is okay. We decided long ago that our lives were not meant to be comfortable, smooth, and easy. Honestly, if that is how things feel, we wonder if we are really serving God at all, or just cruising along because we can!
This journey IS about another little one who God will graft into our family tree. A child who will soon become such a part of us that we will forget what life was like before s/he arrived! And, ultimately, it is about bringing glory to God -- our Savior, our Father, the reason our family exists in the first place.
I have confessed my lack of faith. I am back in the game. And I am thankful for God's gentle reminders when I get off track and lose sight of the fact that I don't know where He's taking us, but He does. And that is what is important.
Update: Not 24 hours after writing this, almost $300 more has arrived in the mail. That means they were sent even before the donations from last night! Even after taking out $4 - $6 per tub for ingredients and shipping, that is a hefty addition to our fund! :)